• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

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Monday, 17 August 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in Northern Cape

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The Northern Cape is easily described in terms of remoteness. Both vast and under populated, by comparison with anywhere else in the country, it annexes 373 000 sq km – most of it the far-flung, empty spaces of the hinterland defined by relentless heat and desert sand dunes; the landscape knobbly with quiver and Halfmens trees.

Yet this aridness also relinquishes some of nature’s most generous treasures – the richly green wine-producing banks of the Gariep Dam, the legendary Augrabies Falls, dunes teeming with wild life, and spring flowers that oblige a desert mutation from a barren terrain into a latticework of blooms.

To  help you navigate, here are the Top Ten Natural Attractions in Northern Cape… Continued

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in Eastern Cape

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Perhaps the reason the Eastern Cape has something of a Cinderella complex is because it lies wedged between two of South Africa’s most popular destinations – the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal. Certainly it receives less attention than the Western Cape, yet is more diverse and harbours some of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the country.

It begins where the Garden Route stops, 1 000 km of largely undeveloped coastline (if you overlook Port Elizabeth and East London) with beaches warmed by the Indian Ocean’s waters, its north-eastern corner dominated by the Drakensberg Mountain range and its eastern quarters awash with rural Xhosa villages.

It has one of the country’s best loved national parks, is malaria-free, and is Nelson Mandela’s birth place. For visitors it is a playground of outdoor activities and compelling natural attractions. Continued

Friday, 7 August 2015

South Africas 3 Endangered Cranes – Where To See Them

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South Africa is home to three species of crane – the blue crane, grey crowned crane and the wattled crane.

In case you were wondering they’re the tall, willowy birds that you sometimes see in pairs, or flocks, in open grassland or on farms. They appear almost regal. I often see blue cranes in the Overberg where they are now fiercely protected, and encouraged on farms.

When they’re not mating, cranes tend to gather communally in wetlands and shallow dams.

Blue cranes are the most numerous of the three endangered cranes, however they’re also largely limited to South Africa – 99% of them occur only here (bar the 60 or so around the Etosha Pans of Namibia) – whereas wattled cranes, and grey crowned cranes, live across southern-central Africa. Continued

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

If There’s One Thing You Do In Durban – The 9 Markets of Warwick Tour

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Everyone knows the Victoria Street Market in Durban’s inner-city. Its vibrantly painted building looks more like the palace of a Maharajah than a market. It lies on the edge of Bertha Mkhize Street (formerly Victoria Street); the site of a market since 1910.

Victoria Market is a predominantly Indian spice and flea market fused with north African curios, art and jewellery, fresh fish, Chinese wholesale goods and everything and anything in-between. It is a ‘safe’ option for tourists overwhelmed by the noise and inner-city turbulence that happens just outside the building, on one of Durban’s busiest street corners – Warwick Junction.

Some 460 000 commuters pass through Warwick Junction on any given day. There are 23 taxi ranks, 19 bus terminals and two major train stations in the near vicinity. It’s no wonder the average tourist’s eyes widen at the thought of venturing beyond the relative safety of the Victoria Market.

But the Markets of Warwick tour does just that… ] Continued

Monday, 3 August 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in KwaZulu Natal

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The coastal province of KwaZulu Natal has just about everything – historical battlefields, architecture and memorials, first world shopping malls, Victorian-cottage shabby-chic suburban living, tribal settlements in rural areas, towering basalt mountains, warm seas, world-class wetlands, wildlife game reserves, hiking and snorkelling opportunities, vibrant markets, an annual sardine run, and a strong Indian, Zulu and colonial influence.

It isn’t short of rustic beauty either, and the top 10 natural attractions in KwaZulu Natal are a good place to start… Continued

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in Mpumalanga

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Mpumalanga’s rare combination of lowveld and escarpment, sub-tropical weather, summer rains and unbelievable scenic beauty makes the province one of the country’s best-kept secrets.

Yet despite the millions of tourists who enter the Kruger National Park annually a huge proportion pass through Mpumalanga without exploring the richness of natural beauty beyond the park’s boundaries.

Mpumalanga, place of the rising sun, has a history and natural beauty that will take your breath away. Explore the Top Ten Natural Attractions in Mpumalanga … Continued

Friday, 24 July 2015

8 Fabulous Self-Drive Routes in KwaZulu-Natal – Making Travel Easy

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There is no better way to get a feel for a place than from the seat of your car, the open road before you; nothing to do, nowhere to be but exactly where you are, exploring and appreciating the scene as it unfolds before you.

The scenic beauty and rich history of KwaZulu Natal needs little introduction, but choosing just how best to explore it does. Here are 10 fabulous Self-Drive Routes in KwaZulu-Natal – to make travel easy… Continued

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Explore SA By Two-Heeled Drive – 10 Extraordinary Spaces For Hiking

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South Africa is renowned for its outdoor lifestyle, its vast expanses, spectacular scenery and heady wilderness areas. The country’s terrain, stretched across 1.2 million square kilometres, is as diverse as its culture and people – from rugged shorelines and towering peaks, to bushveld, shrubland, magnificent indigenous forest and endless, barren desert.

To fully engage with the country head to its wilderness and protected areas and get to know it with your own two feet. Explore these 10 extraordinary spaces for hiking… Continued

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

10 Karoo towns with weird sounding names

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It isn’t difficult to find unusual names in the Karoo. It seems as if this vast, effortless aridity gives rise to names that are the deuce to pronounce, if you’re a visitor, and difficult even if you live in South Africa.

Here are 10 Karoo towns with weird sounding names… Continued

Monday, 13 July 2015

Here is How The Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve Is Saving The Klein Karoo

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People come from all over the world to visit the Klein Karoo. Its wide landscapes, solitude and the spiritual calm of the mountainous, dry landscape is a hugely valuable commodity.

The vegetation of the Klein Karoo, and the adjacent coastal plain, includes 4 500 species of plants that occur nowhere else on Earth, over 70% of which has been damaged and needs protection.

To acquire recognition as a hotspot a region must have at least 1 500 species of endemic plants under threat. The Klein Karoo has three internationally recognised biodiversity hotspots– Fynbos, Succulent Karoo and Valley Thicket. Continued

Thursday, 9 July 2015

10 Oddities that make the Northern Cape such a gem

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The Northern Cape is a vast province. It occupies a chunk of South Africa’s north western territory, curving around the southern projection of Namibia, sharing parts of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park with Botswana, and bordering on the Eastern Cape’s Venterstad, and the Free State’s Christiana.

People head to the Northern Cape to disappear. It isn’t difficult given the countless little towns about which nobody has heard – Melkboom, Breeshoek, Aggeneys, Rooiputs and Hotazel are just a few of them. Continued

Monday, 6 July 2015

SA-Venues.com’s top 15 best value stays for 2015

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Staying somewhere amazing is not just for the well-heeled. There are plenty of places filled with character around South Africa that offer comfort and charm in equal dollops – all of them for under R300 per person per night.

We’ve trawled our listings to uncover those venues where character and low-cost meet to find 15 wallet-friendly, quality guest houses, cottages and camp sites for 2015.

SA-Venues.com’s top 15 best value stays for 2015… Continued

Friday, 3 July 2015

10 of the Karoo’s most historically iconic towns

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The Karoo conjures up a vista of wide open spaces, dusty back roads, historical churches and the endless overhead dome of the sky. It is South Africa’s heart, occupying huge tracts of the country’s inner, and more arid, land; often described as unforgiving.

Once simply a vast area through which to travel en route somewhere else, today the Karoo is a series of little historic towns and various geological and botanical anomalies that attract visitors in their own right.

It is difficult to find a Karoo town that does not boast something of historical note. Our third in a series on the Karoo towns of South Africa, brings you 10 of the Karoo’s most historically iconic townsContinued

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Dinosaurs amongst the cycads at Kirstenbosch – 10 things you’ll see at Kirstenbosch right now

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It’s a clever idea, putting life-size dinosaurs in amongst near-extinct cycads at Kirstenbosch. Not only does it give you a very real idea of just how large, or small, the dinosaurs actually were by standing next to them but you get a real appreciation for the critically endangered cycads that were part of the dinosaurs’ landscape, at the same time.

On since early June 2015 the open-air art exhibition, known simply as ‘Extinction! Dinosaurs, and Cycads?’, features David Huni’s anatomically correct tin dinosaur and pterosaur sculptures. The dinosaurs and the cycads would have co-habited in a similar way some 65 million years ago.

Dinosaurs and 75% of life on earth died, presumably as a result of a massive asteroid or comet that struck earth leaving environmental havoc in its wake, whilst the cycads survived. This fact alone sharply emphasises their endangered status today.

You can see the dinosaurs from the air up on the Boomslang walkway, from where they appear anything but intimidating. Once down in amongst the cycad amphitheatre (just above The Dell and Lady Barnard’s Pool), however, their true size and the almost life-like tin medium combine to bring these massive beasts alive in the imaginations of both young and old… Continued

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Discovering the Spitskop Viewpoint outside Knysna

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The Garden Route is full of gems – some are well known and frequented by tourists (such as the Bloukrans Bridge, Knysna Heads, and the Tsitsikamma), while others are secreted away for only the avid explorer to enjoy. Spitskop is one of the latter. It is part of the Ysternek Nature Reserve, which is a forest reserve that covers almost 12 square kilometres and showcases some of the most stunning scenery in the country… Continued